Tags: Lowe | Close | US | Stores

Lowe’s to Close 20 U.S. Stores, Slow North American Openings

Monday, 17 Oct 2011 09:49 AM

Lowe’s Cos., the second-largest U.S. home-improvement retailer, will close 20 U.S. stores, affecting 1,950 workers, and plans to slow its North American expansion next year as it works to improve sales.

Half of the locations closed at the end of business yesterday, and the remaining 10 will be shut within about a month, Mooresville, North Carolina-based Lowe’s said today in a statement. The closings will reduce earnings by about 17 cents to 20 cents a share, the company said.

Chief Executive Officer Robert Niblock said in August that a “fragile consumer mindset” was moving buyers to focus on smaller home-improvement projects, and the company cut its forecast for fiscal 2011 profit. Second-quarter sales at Lowe’s stores open more than a year declined 0.3 percent, compared with the company’s projection in May for a 2 percent increase.

Lowe’s said today it has discontinued a number of planned new locations and now expects to open 10 to 15 outlets a year in North America starting in 2012, less than a previous plan of about 30 a year. The company said it is on track to open about 25 stores this year, as planned.

Lowe’s fell 1 cent to $20.92 at 8:32 a.m. in New York. The shares had declined 17 percent this year before today.

Employees at the stores to be closed, which are spread across 15 U.S. states, will receive pay and benefits for 60 to 90 days, the company said.

Lowe’s said Aug. 15 that per-share profit in the year through Feb. 3 would be $1.48 to $1.54, down from a previous forecast of $1.56 to $1.64. The planned closings weren’t included in that forecast, Lowe’s said today. The average of 22 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg is $1.59 a share.

Lowe’s said today it has more than 1,725 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

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Lowe s Cos., the second-largest U.S. home-improvement retailer, will close 20 U.S. stores, affecting 1,950 workers, and plans to slow its North American expansion next year as it works to improve sales. Half of the locations closed at the end of business yesterday, and the...
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Monday, 17 Oct 2011 09:49 AM
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